adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, divided (meaning you'll use 1 cup first and the other cup later)
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack cheese (about 1 cup)
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 ounce can diced green chiles
Chopped, fresh cilantro for serving (optional)
1. In a 4- or 5-quart pot, cook the ground beef or turkey over medium to medium-high heat with the salt and pepper, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Once it is cooked through, drain any excess grease.
2. Add the onion powder, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and oregano to the meat and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Scrape the meat to a plate and set aside. Return the pot to medium heat and melt the butter, scraping up any browned bits from the meat.
3. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or so, whisking constantly, letting the mixture brown and bubble. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk. Continue stirring while heating the mixture to a gentle simmer. Moderate the heat on the stove so the soup just bubbles but doesn't boil vigorously. Cook for 1-2 minutes to let it thicken slightly. Stir in the cheese and let it melt completely.
Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, green chiles, remaining 1 cup milk, and reserved cooked ground meat. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.
4. Serve with fresh cilantro (can also serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, etc.)
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